THE mother of a young Irish boy who was abducted by his father and taken to Egypt four years ago has said her heart has been "ripped out".
Six-year-old Faris Daniel Heeney, an Irish citizen, was snatched by his father, Egyptian national Amir Ismaeil.
The boy's mother, Norma Heeney, of Clonsilla, Dublin, told the Irish Independent that "enough is enough".
Faris was only two when he was taken to Egypt by his father's brother, Moustafa Ismaeil, in July 2009
His aunt, Amy Heeney, said Faris had just gone to his father's home for a sleepover, but when his mother called to collect him the next day she was told he was in Egypt.
The family immediately reported the abduction to the gardai, who demanded that Moustafa Ismaeil return to Ireland. He did, but without Faris.
He is serving a sentence in Portlaoise for abduction, and is expected to be released next April.
Two weeks after Moustafa Ismaeil returned to this jurisdiction, Faris's father and another brother fled Ireland using false passports. Both were on bail after being charged with sexual assault.
It is understood that Faris is living in his father's family home in Tanta, north of Cairo.
The Heeney family, who have made numerous visits to see Faris, described the conditions he is living in as "volatile".
Faris's mother said the family constantly receive threatening phone calls from Amir Ismaeil, and as recently as yesterday afternoon he demanded €800.
"If myself and my family don't send money over he will harm Faris – slap him, burn him with hot spoons. We know this for a fact and we have seen him slap my son before," she said.
The Heeneys said they have tried to discuss their case with the Government and are "sick of every door being shut on us".
"For the past four years we've been passed on from department to department, and each saying it is not their responsibility," said Faris's mother. "It's gone on too long. They to have to step up to the task."
The authorities face difficulties in returning Faris to his mother as Egypt is not a signatory to the Hague Convention on child abduction.
The family wants the Government to negotiate a bilateral agreement with Egypt, and made reference to the recent extradition of an Irish citizen from Brazil.
They say they are in genuine fear for Faris's well-being due to the civil unrest in Egypt, and his father's "aggressive" nature.
Ms Heeney said that without her son she has no life any more.
"Faris was my life. I'm totally dead inside, my heart is ripped out. I'm in total anxiety about the welfare of my son."
By Emma Jane Hade